Becca rubbed her fingers back and forth on the textured green bus seat while her feet swung freely. Andrew sat in his car seat next to her, idly sucking his thumb, totally unaware that he should be excited about the next couple hours.
“We’re gonna see Christmas lights, L’il Buddy.” Becca pulled Andrew’s thumb out so she could hear the sound it made when it popped loose. She let him put it back in. “Lots and lots of Christmas lights. Daddy says everyone there puts lights up.”
Becca pulled Andrew’s thumb out for sheer entertainment purposes. Andrew smiled and stuck it back in and got a good suck going so Becca could pull it out again.
Pastor Tim and Lisa greeted everyone as they arrived and assisted them into the bus. Becca almost fell off the seat as she leaned forward to see who would climb the steps next.
“Hello, Becca,” they would say as they patted her head.
Or they would look at Andrew and say, “Does that thumb taste good?” To which they would always laugh, quite amused at their comment. Becca never understood why they asked that question. Didn’t they know what their thumb tasted like?
“Hello, Pastor Tim.” Becca could hear a woman’s voice greet her daddy. In her excitement at the sound of the voice, Becca scooted off the seat. As soon as her feet hit the floor, she knew she wasn’t supposed to get up and immediately clamored back to her place.
Just when her little bottom plopped into place, the person that the voice belonged to rounded the corner. “There’s my Little Miss Muffet.”
Becca’s bottom slipped out of the seat again and she raised her arms to be picked up. “Hi Marge! I knew you were gonna come. Mama said so.” The older woman placed her forehead on Becca’s as they wrinkled their noses and giggled.
“Hey, there, do I get any lovin’?” The white-haired man leaned over his wife’s shoulder to greet Becca. She wriggled out of Marge’s arms to get a big bear hug from Jay.
Jay placed Becca back on the seat. Just as she opened her mouth to protest, Marge cut her off with a touch of her finger on Becca’s tiny lips. “Your daddy said as soon as Mama can sit with Andrew, you can come be with us. Okay?”
Marge and Jay played the part of proud grandparents well, even though they never had any children of their own. They fell in love with Tim and Lisa’s little family when they were voted in as pastor. They considered them their kids.
Soon the church bus, full of grandmas and grandpas, rolled out of the parking lot. Becca sat on Jay’s lap and told them all about her day at pre-school. She switched gears somewhere along the way and chatted about how Mama had decorated their house for Christmas.
“Mama did the tree when Andrew napped. He never saw a Christmas tree before ‘cause he was a tiny baby last year.”
“What did he do when he woke up?” Marge asked as she soaked in the little girl’s chatter.
Eager to share, Becca continued her story. “He walked up to the tree and Mama told him, don’t touch.”
“Did he touch it?” Marge urged Becca on.
Becca covered her mouth with both hands as she laughed. “He,” she could hardly contain the giggles, “he took one look at the lights…” more snickers. Becca knew how to milk the audience. The white-haired passengers turned in their seats to hear the rest of the story. With hearing aides adjusted, all eyes were fixed on her.
Lisa turned in her seat and Tim watched in the mirror above him. They didn’t want to miss everyone’s reaction as Becca prepared to serve up the punch-line.
Becca uncovered her mouth and with dramatic flare, she sucked in a huge breath, “He stuck a Christmas light right up his nose and it glowed just like Rudolph’s.”
The entire busload roared in laughter, much to Becca’s delight. Lisa turned back around and smiled at Tim in the mirror. Tim winked at her, “Just like her mama. She sure knows how to deliver a story.”
The clueless toddler happily sucked his thumb. Lisa leaned in to kiss his nose. For sheer entertainment purposes, she pulled his thumb out to hear it pop. Andrew smiled and stuck it back in.
Like mother, like daughter.
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